Sunday, March 27, 2011

Exploding (Explosion) Box

I love this little box that has a special surprise when you take the cover off. It's a scrapbooking page in a box!

Watch the video to see the surpise!

I used a svg file I bought from to make this but I have found free svg files on line doing a google search. I was trying to figure out what I was doing as I went along but it should be a shorter time frame once I make another one.

These little boxes can be made out of differently themed papers so you can make them for birthday gifts, baby showers, anniversaries. They make a great keepsake that looks very pretty sitting out for company to see.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Almost 33 years later

This weekend I got to fulfill a dream that I've I had since I can remember. My class took a class trip to Washington D. C.. I don't remember a lot because I was more interested in socializing and boys which is what most 13 year old girls are into. The one thing that did stand out in my mind all these years was the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Hope Diamond. It's not because a diamond that big and blue is a girl's best friend. No, it's because I was totally in love with the way rocks form and different types of rocks and minerals and also being able to say I saw something that I had only seen in books.

While friends of mine dream of cruises, visiting far off lands, or doing something crazy like mountain climbing or sky diving, I have been dreaming of going back to Washington D.C. and visiting the places I visited with my schoolmates back in 8th grade. I knew this time it would have so much more meaning to me and I would retain so much more memories of the history and facts and sights and sounds. Also, to be able to share such a treasure with my family is priceless.

When my darling husband got his job in Virginia, I was jumping for joy for the fact that now I might be able to relive a wonderful memory from my past and I have.

Yesterday we packed up the van and headed to Washington D. C.. It's about an hour from here and there is even traffic going and coming on a Sunday afternoon. We made it, found a decent parking spot, and headed across the National Mall and up the steps of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. I was so overwhelmed once inside that I actually started to cry. It was my dream come true.

This big guy greets visitors as they walk through the front door. I'm sure he was there 30 years ago. 

 The Willendorf Venus Cast and a replica wall with the famous ancient horse paintings of  the Lascaux cave where awesome in the fact that I have studied these in college and watched numerous programs about them. I love history of how man evolved!

This is a Huge Meteor fragment that landed in Arizona around Tucson many years ago. Just think of the big hole this left behind.

I didn't get through everything again but that's okay because we plan on going back. There is so much to see that you could spend at least two full days just in this museum alone.

Anyone that's been there remember the dinosaurs or aquarium?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you

Did you make your corned beef and cabbage? I planned on it and even headed to the store to buy the stuff to make it when I got a call from hubby so I had to make a u-turn and the traditional corned beef dinner never happened. I'm thinking that I may try again tomorrow even if I will be a day late. You don't get corned beef every day of the year so you have to take it when you can get it.

I said I would post some cards in honor of St. Patty's day and so today I am going to do that. I made these for friends and family using my Cricut and SVG files from SVGcuts and the program Sure Cuts a Lot. People think I'm so talented. Shhhh, it's our little secret as to having a machine help me out.
The card file had the word LUCKY you would cut out but I decided to try stamping it and I ended up liking that better against the plaid background.

I just realized that I didn't take pictures of the other cards I made so there will be no sharing them but I will share three other things I made.

I made this wreath and goodie bag for a dear friend back in Tucson. I put jelly beans in the bag for her children. I used my Cricut and Sure Cuts a Lot program with SVG files from SVGcuts.
 The bag is made of cardstock paper that already had the light green glitter design. The glitter clovers I found at Joann's.

I made this wreath using lots of different clover svg files I had and that LUCKY card too. You can see how the work Lucky looks when you cut it out instead of stamping it.

I love my pot of gold but it was a lot of work. I was going to make two but after this one I decided not to. I found a coloring page of a rainbow and converted it to a SVG file and then cut out each color individually with my cricut. I used black as a shadow background and glittered and glued each color of the rainbow to the black. I had a hard time not getting glitter all over and then it didn't want to stay attached to the stripes so I had to go buy spay acrylic to secure them. The pot is another picture I found and then I played with it until I got the back in gray with the front in black to give a shadow effect. I used store bought St. Patrick Day gems as decorations and used yellow glitter for the gold coins.

You probably won't read this until in the morning since I'm working on it late at night so I will say (in my best Irish brogue) "Top of the mornin' to ya."

Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

I've been using my Cricut and Sure Cuts A Lot program with wonderful SVG files I have bought from SVGcuts to make some really cute decorations. I hope you don't mind my sharing them with you over the next few days.

I have a friend who was hosting a fun spring get together at her house so I thought it would be nice to take some cupcakes to share. I was suppose to go to her house for Valentine's but was sick so I thought I would bring Valentines into the future and combine my idea with St. Patrick's Day. I got the cutest clover cupcake wrap from SVGcuts and used that to wrap my cupcakes in and then I used the Valentine's paper cupcake wrappers and finally I finished with pink frosting. I know that if it weren't for the clover design on the wraps that I would have a Christmas theme going on. Hmm, maybe next time I'll combine Christmas with either Valentines or St. Patrick's Day.

Why the hole in the balloon part of this? It's a door hanger with a very adorable St. Patrick's Day puppy. I planned on putting stickers in this and taking it to my friend's house to give to her daughter. But because I was rushing around and trying to get the cupcakes ready, I forgot it so now it is still hanging with my crafting stuff. I guess I'll have to make my friend's daughter something for Easter and hopefully I'll remember that.

By the way, this is a SVG file from SVGcuts.

In the evening we went to a friend's house for dinner and I wanted to take her a festive gift so I made this using another St. Patrick's SVG file from SVGcuts. It's 3D so I bought some clover shaped sugar cookies, wrapped them up and placed them inside my St. Patty's pot. Sweets are just like gold to a women. Yum.

Tomorrow I hope to show off some SVG cards I made to send out. Till then, sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite.

Provocut machine vs. eCraft machine

Tonight while tooling around Facebook, a message popped up about ProvoCraft suing Sure Cuts a Lot and Make the Cut which are two programs that take SVG files and make them usable for cutting with the different ProvoCraft cutting machines. I don't know if it they really are going to do it but it would be a shame if they did. There are a lot and I mean a lot of cartridges out there for the ProvoCraft machines and most of them are cartridges that are keepers but there are a few things that only a crafty person might come up with on their own for their own use and Sure Cuts a Lot and Make the Cut are great for those creative people.

I have over 60 cartridges and love every one but have found that I may want a certain picture that is not on any of my cartridges so what to do? I find a SVG file or make one on my own and then use my Sure Cuts a Lot to cut it out. Yay! I got exactly what I wanted.

I've also found that sometimes I just don't like all the stuff on a cartridge so I can't see paying $20 or more for it, but there may be a cute bunny or nice star that I want so I go looking on the web. I buy it from someone that makes and sells SVG files for $4.00 or less or I find a free one. Yay! I, again, have exactly what I want.

 In either case, I am still investing in cartridges from Provocut but I am using SVG files as supplements or enhancer to my cartridges so I see nothing wrong with investing in both.

Craftwell has come up with a machine called the eCraft that might make ProvoCraft think twice before doing anything rash. This die cut machine costs about the same as the Expression but it doesn't use mats or cartridges. Below is a list of the features.

* 3 ways to feed paper: Manual, Paper Tray and Roller (no more messy cutting mats)
* Handles materials up to 12" wide by ANY length
* Draws and cuts without changing from a blade to a pen
* 2.8" backlit LCD display for easy navigation and image selection
* Works off of easy-to-store SD Image Cards, with hundreds of shapes to choose from
* No computer required, but great design software with additional features included for a PC computer. Sorry, Apple software not available yet. The software will allow users to import SVG image files and access True Type and Open Type Fonts, then establish draw and cut lines, or create your own images within the software using design tools.
* Adjustable pressure settings for kiss-cutting (vinyl) and multi-cutting (thicker materials)
* Clear Cut Indicator lights up when the blade cuts all the way through your material
* Pause button allows you to adjust the pressure setting mid-cut (less mistakes = less paper wasted)
* Rechargeable Battery available for on-the-go use (lasts for hours) (not included, sold separately)

In the Box:
eCraft Personal Electronic Cutter
Fundamentals 1 Image Card
(2) Black pens
(5) Blades
Paper Tray
Roller Attachment
eCraftshop Professional Design Software (download)
USB Cable
 Demo Video

The big question I wanted to find out though, does the eCraft Cutter work with SVGcuts which are pictures you cut out using SCAL or MTC? I've invested a lot of money in these files and would hate to get a new brand of machine that they didn't work with. There would be a lot of money down the toilet. I found You Tube video that says they do. Yay! again.

SVGcuts working with eCraft machine

Please be forewarned that there are issues with this new machine that are hopefully being worked out. The computer screen mat comes up distorted and so it's hard to see the design as it should be but on a bright note Carftwell is working with Sure Cuts a Lot and Making the Cut so that their programs will work with the eCraft machine.

I'm not for sure what I would do or will do if a lawsuit comes about. I know I would be darn mad if I couldn't use my SVG files but would I be mad enough to invest in a new machine? We'll see.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Valentine's Day is for Lovers and...

anyone who wants to add lots of red, hearts and sparkle to their life. I love this holiday because my favorite color is red and I'm pretty good at cutting hearts out of construction paper. I also like to make origami hearts to give to friends and family. The last two years I've used my wonderful Cricut to help me make Valentine's for my daughter's class and to make Valentines for friends and family. Have a look:

This is the card I made for my husband. I used the Crucit for cutting out the card and heart on front. I'm usually a plain and simple card person but this was a fancy one just because it was going to the most important man in my life.
This was the card I made my daughter this year. It was very simple. I used my Cuddlebug to emboss the hearts on read paper and then used Martha Stewart glitter to add the sparkle. The letters for LOVE I used one of my Cricut cartridges to cut out.
I used my Cricut to make these two cards, one for each son.
I used my Cricut once again for these two cards which were my daughter's Valentines to hand out to her friends. Aren't they the cutest darn things!

Now comes the beyond card part. I bought some Christmas boxes from Oriental Trading Company on clearance. They are suppose to be a green with red dots but look more like light green with pink dots so that's perfect for Valentines and even St. Patrick's Day. I put them to work making fun little Valentine boxes that I filled with treats and sent back to Tucson to friends.

Once I finished these boxes I moved on to my origami hearts just because I like to paper fold. A friend told me that she read somewhere that people who like origami like it because it brings peace and organization to their lives. I really believe that is true. I find with all my craft clutter and chaotic life that grabbing a piece of paper, folding it, creasing it and seeing a unique end result is very satisfying. 
The same friend, who I tried for a few years to get to do origami, has taken it even beyond my levels with these wonderful dress garlands she makes for the different seasons and holidays. She'll spend hours doing them and can you blame her? Aren't they the most adorable things? Wait till you see my St. Patrick's Day one she just sent me.

Here is my table on Valentine's Day. I set it up the night before so all the cards were out and so were the heart shaped treat boxes I made. Each box had it's own saying which matched my children perfectly such as "Text Me" for my oldest son because he is always texting on his cell phone.
I made this mailbox using an SVG file I bought from SVGcuts. I hosted a Valentine's Day party and had this box out for display.